Our Company Blog

Home Maintenance Tips For San Diego’s Rainy Months

We tend to see a lot of rainfall this time of year here in San Diego County, so it’s important to ensure your home is adequately protected. There are a lot of simple steps you can take to ensure you stay as safe as possible, as well as avoid expensive and time-consuming repairs down the line. Follow some of the guidelines provided below, and be sure to reach out to our team for all of your chimney- and fireplace-related needs. Weststar Chimney is ready to serve you every step of the way!

man cleaning out leafy guttersUnclog Your Gutters

If you don’t have sturdy gutters on your home, then it might be time to invest in some new ones. It may put a small dent in your bank account, but trust us – water-related damages are much more costly to address! If your gutters are in good shape, then get out your ladder and some gloves and ensure they are totally unclogged, so that water has a clear pathway off of your roof and away from your home. Or, if you’re not up to take on the task yourself, call on a professional to help you out.

What happens if you neglect this maintenance? Water will collect on your roof, causing all kinds of damage, and you’ll be experiencing leaks and interior and exterior home damage before you know it. It could also lead to water pooling near your home, causing a lot of issues throughout your foundation. The weaker this area becomes, the more likely you are to have structural issues down the line.

Check For Rot

The more moisture you have in your home, the more likely you are to experience rotting throughout your woodwork, which can eventually lead to structural damage and mold accumulation. Be sure to look for rot regularly and have any affected areas replaced as soon as possible. Then, take necessary measures to ensure these areas are not affected by water again down the line.

Is Your Roof In Good Shape?

Mold or leaky spots in your roof indicate that some work needs to be completed. It’s important to regularly replace broken or missing shingles, and be sure to invest in new roofing materials, as needed, to ensure your entire home stays safer and in the best shape possible. Rainy weather can be very hard on your roof, and you don’t want to discover leaks amidst a heavy downpour. Take action now – you’ll be happy you crossed this maintenance off of your list early!

Seal Your Windows & Doors

Window frames and door frames are especially vulnerable spots when heavy rains begin to fall. As various parts of your home settle, expand, and contract over time, these areas tend to break down the quickest, and you’ll notice water seeping through if they aren’t properly maintained. Keep an open eye for stains, rotting wood, mold, and other signs that moisture is making a presence. Then, seal them up as necessary.

Inspect Your Landscaping

Are there any places in your yard where water is more prone to collect and cause damage? Consider re-doing weak spots in your landscaping, and check that your sidewalks and driveway are appropriately sloped so that water flows away from your property, rather than towards it. These projects are a little more expensive to take on, but don’t compare at all to the costs of home repairs down the line should water gain easy access to your home.

Waterproof Your Masonry

Is your chimney sealed and protected? If not, then it’s time to call in some experts. Your brickwork and mortar are really absorbent, and they will soak in a lot of water if left to the elements. Water breaks down these materials quickly, and all too often people use store-bought paints and sealers to try and protect them. Unfortunately, these products trap the pre-absorbed moisture inside with no way of escaping, meaning your structure will continue to crumble, crack, and deteriorate.

Rely on our team to get the job done right with services and products you can rely on for the long haul. We’ll cover your masonry will specially formulated sealants that offer reliable protection, while still remaining vapor-permeable. This means no water will get in and anything stuck inside can easily escape over time.

Invest In Replacement Chimney Parts

Unfortunately, your masonry isn’t the only area of your chimney that can be affected by water. If your flashing, chimney cap, top-sealing damper, or chase cover was installed incorrectly or if they are facing some type of damage, then it’s likely that water will pool and create rust and decay. These components can work wonders at protecting your home, but they have to be in good shape and set up right in order to do an effective job.

Let us look things over, and we can repair or replace parts, as necessary. Once everything is back in order, you can rest easier knowing you did everything possible to prevent further damage throughout your home.

We’re Here For You!

Ready to work with the best in the area? Our CSIA Certified Chimney Sweeps are just a quick phone call away. Reach out now, so you can put your mind at ease throughout these rainy months ahead.

Give Your Home An Upgrade For Christmas!

Not sure what to add to your holiday wish list? Why not treat yourself to an upgrade! If your fireplace and chimney are looking a bit worse for the wear, there are a lot of measures we can take to improve efficiency and give you the high-quality protection you deserve. This is one gift that will keep on giving year after year. Learn more below, then reach out to our team today to further discuss your options. We can’t wait to get this process started for you!

Gas Log Sets

fireplaceMany fireplace owners are switching to gas due to its countless benefits. Gas options are easy to use, low maintenance, and they don’t require you to haul and store wood, which always leads to a big mess. Oftentimes homeowners simply do not have the time or energy to build and maintain fires, and the clean-up involved can take a toll on your schedule, too. If you simply want to sit back, relax, and enjoy your evening without having to put a lot of effort into the process, then it’s time to invest in a gas log set.

These systems will turn on with the push of a button, and they offer a steady stream of heat for your family to enjoy. They are very efficient, require minimal maintenance, and won’t produce any unpleasant smokey odors, either. All in all, they make a great addition to any living space, and their realistic appearance ensures you still get that timeless aesthetic you hope to achieve. There’s no reason not to make the switch! Set up an appointment with our team today.

Crown Coat

Is your crown cracked or crumbling? If your last inspection revealed some issues that need addressing, then the time to invest in repair work is now. Without a properly functioning crown in place, your chimney is a lot more likely to experience water damage, which will quickly cause your brickwork and mortar to break down. This will make you prone to experience gas leaks, house fires, smoke exposure, or even a chimney collapse.

It’s not worth taking any chances, so invest in a fix that will last – CrownCoat! When applied by a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep, this product guarantees high-quality results that last, so that you can get back to using your fireplace with the ease and peace of mind you’re desiring.

Prefab Panel Replacement

If you have owned a prefabricated fireplace for years now, then the refractory panels may be suffering. These pieces take on a lot of wear and tear, and anything exposed to the stress and strain they face is bound to need some attention from time to time. Replacing your panels will ensure you can use your fireplace with ease, without putting your family at any potential risk. Ask our experts about what we can do for you. The sooner we get things started, the better off you will be.

Fireplace Screens & Doors

Whether you need your current screen or door replaced or simply do not have one at all, our team can set you up with a design that is perfect for your unique needs and setup. These parts offer added protection for your home, ensuring stray sparks and embers have no chance of landing on your floor or furniture. They also help to keep curious pets and young children away from any flames, and they help to keep your home at a reasonable temperature when your system is not in use, too.

Our screens come in a wide range of styles, and our doors can be custom made to fit your every desire. Enhance the look, function, and feel of your fireplace by turning to us now.

Heat Reflectors

Are you not experiencing that strong outpouring of heat you expect from your fireplace? If your unit is simply not delivering, then heat reflectors may be a good investment for you. They are installed in the back of your firebox, and they help to push the heat back into your living space, so everyone in the area can stay warm, cozy, and comfortable.

An added benefit of these devices is their ability to offer extra protection to your firebox walls. As you can imagine, this area of your fireplace takes on a significant amount of stress, and all that direct exposure to heat and flames can cause it to break down a lot over time. With heat reflectors in place, you add an extra layer of protection, so that your firebox lasts longer – it’s a win all around.

Always Trust A Pro

Considering some do-it-yourself options? This is not recommended. Many times, these routes can offer homeowners an easy fix at a much more affordable rate, but when it comes to your fireplace and chimney, attempting a repair without an in-depth understanding of your system can lead to disaster.

In a situation where you could potentially experience carbon monoxide exposure, fires, smoke inhalation, and more, there really isn’t room to mess around. Our sweeps have undergone extensive training, and we take advantage of countless educational opportunities to ensure you get everything you deserve. Talk with us today about your installation needs. We’re always happy to serve!

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Fireplace Doors

Has a friend or neighbor recommended that you invest in some fireplace doors? Or maybe you’ve been considering adding them, but don’t know much about what they actually do. Regardless of your situation, you’re likely facing a lot of questions that you’ll need answered before making any investments.

Fortunately, we’re here to help you every step of the way. Weststar Chimney Sweeps has been serving the San Diego area for 20 years now, and we pride ourselves on offering knowledgeable, honest, and in-depth evaluations every time you hire us for the job. If you need help buying and installing your new fireplace door, don’t hesitate to reach out today!

Why Do I Need A Fireplace Door?

fireplace with open doorsThere are many reasons to install a fireplace door. First of all, they add a level of safety to your space. They help to keep kids and pets out of the firebox, they stop sparks from flying out and landing on your rugs or furniture, and they prevent any hot or burning logs from rolling out of the fireplace and landing in your living room.

Fireplace doors also help to enhance the aesthetic appeal of your home. They cover up any messy ash and half-used wood piles for when your fireplace isn’t in use, and many can be customized to your unique style preferences. You’ll have a personalized piece that guests and family members are sure to rave about for years!

Is your fireplace causing your energy bills to skyrocket? Whether you have cold downdrafts entering your living room in the winter or you struggle with all of your air-conditioned air escaping in the summer, an open fireplace can cause your HVAC system to work much harder than necessary, which means more money coming out of your pocket every month. This is less than ideal, but a fireplace door can do a much more effective job at keeping your home more comfortable than a throat damper or chimney cap.

All in all, you’ll get the style, efficiency, and peace of mind you deserve when you invest in fireplace doors for your home. Take the next step today by reaching out to our team to explore your options!

What Style Options Are Out There?

Now, when you choose to work with the crew at Weststar Chimney Sweeps, you get to explore a lot of choices when it comes to finding the perfect door for your home. We offer custom-designed models from Fireplace Door Guy, so you can choose which style would look best with your set-up. We’ll also measure your fireplace to guarantee an exact fit. From something plain and simple to something more ornate and intricate, we have an option for every preference.

Can I Install The Door Myself?

In today’s technological world, it’s easier than ever to find do-it-yourself tutorials online for just about anything. Well, when it comes to your fireplace, we encourage our customers to rely on CSIA certified technicians to perform any and all of their installation work. This guarantees you get the best results possible for your appliance, and it ensures your family stays as safe as possible, too.

Not to mention, even a minor mishap can lead to some pretty big problems, all of which are very costly to fix. In the long run, you’ll be much better off trusting an expert from the very start.

What’s Better? A Door Or A Screen?

Now, fireplace screens are another alternative when it comes to keeping your household better protected. Screens are less expensive and they can play a big part in keeping your living space more comfortable. That being said, they may not do as effective a job as a fireplace door, and they tend to allow small sparks or embers into your space from time to time.

Don’t get us wrong – screens are a great option for many, and they can contribute a lot to the look and function of your fireplace. Along with this, they may not block as much heat as a fireplace door would. It’s all about finding what works best for your set up.

Or, if you want heightened efficiency, while keeping little ones and pets as safe as possible, why not invest in both? Doors serve a big purpose, but they get very hot since they are directly in front of the fire. By placing one of our folding screens in front of them, you ensure no little paws or fingers risk getting burned. And when the fire is out, just set it aside and out of the way. It’s as easy as that!

I Live In San Diego County – Who Can Help With This Process?

If you live in San Diego County, we encourage you to give the team here at Weststar Chimney Sweeps a call now. We serve countless cities including Alpine, Bonita, Rancho Santa Fe, Vista, Lakeside, Lemon Grove, and more, and we would be happy to set you up right before the holidays arrive in full swing.

Our team is CSIA Certified, so you can bet we know our stuff, and we are members of the NCSG, ensuring we stay informed and up-to-date on any advances in the industry. We pride ourselves on always putting you – the customer – first, and we offer honest and in-depth evaluations. Combine all that with our A+ BBB rating and our long list of positive customer reviews, and you’ve got a team you can trust in for the long haul.

Ready to get started? Reach out today!

Why Your Dryer Vents Should Be Cleaned Annually

Here at Weststar Chimney Sweeps, we always urge homeowners to invest in regular chimney inspections, sweepings, and maintenance. We obviously pride ourselves on our chimney services (It’s right there in our name!), but we want San Diego citizens to be aware of another extremely important service we offer, as well – dryer vent cleaning.

Like chimney inspections, dryer vent cleanings should be performed once every year to ensure your home stays as safe as possible. Along with this, yearly maintenance keeps your appliance running more efficiently, and it could save you on energy costs, too! Learn more about all of this below, then call right away to book an appointment with Dryer Vents Cleaned Annually - San Diego CA - Weststar Chimney Sweepsour experts. We’re always happy to serve.

Avoiding Fires & Carbon Monoxide

Dryer fires are much more common than people realize and most are triggered by clogged up vents overheating. Lint is very flammable and, when your appliance cannot exhaust, it will reach dangerous temperatures. Before you know it, all the debris inside your flue could ignite, spreading flames throughout your laundry room and household.

Fires cause significant amounts of damage, and they could result in death or injury for those inside of the home, as well. This is one area where you don’t want to take any chances. Trust us – a cleaning now is a lot more affordable than repair work later.

Another danger associated with clogged up vents is the risk of carbon monoxide entering the home. Carbon monoxide has no color or odor, and it is highly poisonous, causing multiple deaths every single year. When your appliance cannot effectively vent out vapors and fumes, you run the risk of exposure to this gas, which is why regular cleanings are so important!

Better Performance From Your Appliance

Dryer vent cleanings will also enable your appliance to perform as efficiently as possible. If you’re being forced to run multiple drying cycles before your laundry is completely dry, then it’s time to call in a professional. Many assume their dryer is not working when all they require is a simple cleaning to get back into action.

Lower Energy Bills

Finally, consider the savings you could experience by operating a more efficient appliance. Running cycle after cycle not only takes up your day and causes frustration… it costs you money month-to-month, too! Don’t throw cash down the drain when an easy fix is just a phone call away. Our techs would be happy to lend a hand!

Our Team Is Experienced & Ready To Serve

The crew at Weststar Chimney Sweeps is one you can trust for the long haul. We’ve maintained an A+ rating with the BBB for 18 years now, and we continue to renew our CSIA certifications, ensuring we stay up-to-date on any advancements or new technologies introduced into our field. If you are ready to work with the best, don’t wait any longer. Reach out to us today!

The CSIA Certified Difference

Here at Weststar Chimney Sweeps, there is one thing we take seriously – our education. That’s why we’ve earned and maintained certification with the CSIA. How does this set us apart? Well, in an industry that is ever-evolving and always exploring new technologies, staying up-to-date and top of it all is a must! It’s qualifications like these that ensure homeowners stay safer with every passing year, and we are proud to be associated with such a reputable organization.

Learn more about the CSIA below, then count on us for your inspections, sweepings, and repair work – we’re equipped to handle it all.

Taking Your Safety Seriously

The CSIA is a nonprofit that has been around since 1983, and it is devoted to educating the public and certifying sweeps all throughout the country. Leaders of this organization regularly go out into the community to share safety tips and fireplace knowledge, and they’ve made it their mission to ensure sweeps across the nation are knowledgeable and well-informed, as well.

The great part about the CSIA is that they require their sweeps to regularly renew their certification. If you don’t recertify every three years, you lose your status! This ensures the team you are working with isn’t missing out on anything.

To top it off, the CSIA is all about ethics. Each sweep must sign a code of ethics that requires them to use their knowledge to keep their customers safer and to be honest in all of their evaluations.

Getting Certified

So, what does it take to earn one’s certification? Well, technicians are given training materials that they must study and get down pat, after which they are required to take a test to ensure they know it all when it comes to your fireplace and chimney. The CSIA also hosts workshops and training sessions for team members to participate in. All in all, getting the knowledge and understanding necessary to be the best they can be isn’t a problem for a CSIA certified sweep.

All in all, it is no easy process. It takes training, studying, and dedication to earn these qualifications, but it is nothing our team can’t handle. If you’re eager to work with a crew that can get you taken care of – no matter what – then schedule an appointment with Weststar Chimney Sweeps today!

It’s Time To Get Your Inspection Completed

One thing the CSIA recommends is investing in annual chimney inspections. This practice will keep your system functioning appropriately throughout the holiday season, which is when most people put their fireplace to use. You and your family members will stay safer and cozier, and you’ll get the efficiency you’re hoping for, as well.

If you’re ready to get your inspection on the books, call today! Our busy season is approaching fast, and soon it will become quite challenging to find a time slot that works well with your calendar. Our team is ready and willing to ensure your chimney is free of dirt, debris, creosote, and any damages. Reach out now, and we can set something up.